ZimTrade and the Botswana Investment Trade Centre (BITC) executive director for brand management, Ms Kutlo Moagi, said in a statement that as part of nurturing and strengthening trade and business relations between Botswana and Zimbabwe, the BITC and ZimTrade have collaborated to host a Botswana-Zimbabwe Forum, Business to Business (B2B) meetings.
ZIMBABWE and Botswana are set to further deepen trade and economic cooperation while exploring mutual investment opportunities during the upcoming Botswana-Zimbabwe Forum set for this week.
The forum is scheduled for February 8 in Maun, Botswana, and will be held on the sidelines of the Joint Permanent Commission on Cooperation between the two countries.
Zimbabwe and Botswana have enjoyed cordial bilateral ties since pre-independence times, which have been amplified under the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa.
ZimTrade and the Botswana Investment Trade Centre (BITC) signed a memorandum of understanding in 2018 to facilitate collaboration and cooperation between the two organisations, which has culminated in several business-to-business missions happening outside the realms of the BNC Business forum.
BITC executive director for brand management, Ms Kutlo Moagi, said in a statement that as part of nurturing and strengthening trade and business relations between Botswana and Zimbabwe, the BITC and ZimTrade have collaborated to host a Botswana-Zimbabwe Forum, Business to Business (B2B) meetings.
A mini-exhibition between Botswana and Zimbabwean companies is also planned. The Business Forum will be headlined by Botswana’s Minister of Trade and Industry Mmusi Kgafela and Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Fredrick Shava.
The forum will be held on the sidelines of the Joint Permanent Commission on Cooperation between Botswana and Zimbabwe.
“The main objective of this forum is to explore investment and trade opportunities, promote Botswana as an investment destination of choice as well as facilitate possible joint venture partnerships between Botswana and Zimbabwean companies,” said Ms Moagi.
“The sectors of focus include agriculture and agro-processing, manufacturing (textiles and clothing, building materials and furniture) and services (tourism and financial services).”
Targeted business-to-business meetings between the two countries with the possibility of having joint-venture partnerships are part of the forum.
“As part of the day’s activities, BITC and ZimTrade will also host a mini-exhibition where Botswana and Zimbabwe companies will showcase their product offerings. This is also aimed at stimulating and growing mutually beneficial cross-border trade,” she added.
The close collaboration between the two countries has culminated in the establishment of a bi-national commission (BNC) in 2019, which has paved the way for the signing of numerous cooperation deals covering various socio-economic and political aspects.
Already, the two countries have a bilateral trade agreement that is governed by Statutory Instrument (SI) 192 of 1988, which allows preferential treatment of goods originating from the two neighbouring States, that is, goods grown, produced, or manufactured from both nations.
Under this deal, goods originating from either of the trading partners are exempted from payment of customs duties on condition that the goods meet a minimum 25 percent local content.
BITC is an integrated investment trade promotion authority with an encompassing mandate of investment promotion and attraction, export promotion and development including brand management.
On the other hand, ZimTrade is Zimbabwe’s trade development and promotion agency.